Perfect weather conditions and talented performers made the annual Carols in the Park hosted by Narrandera Lions Club in the Marie Bashir Park on Sunday night a wonderful start to the Christmas season.
According to MC and Lions member Bill Howitt it was “one of the best concerts we’ve ever had, I was just thrilled”.
“All of the performers outdid themselves, and many thanks to Fiona Caldarevic for all of the hard work she did,” Mr Howitt said.
The choir and orchestra, both conducted and organised by Ms Caldarevic, provided music for the entire night.
The evening singers alternated between the choir and the crowd singing along and a revolving door of locals who put their hand up to sing carols.
Tammy Galvin, Jamie Gawne, April Walsh, Antonia Purcell, Tim Morsanuto, Texas Rose and Renae Galvin, together with Argus journalist Janet Brown from Wagga, were some of the performers who gave up their time and showed off their talents.
“We were very delighted with the performers. And we were very happy with the size of the crowd, and nearly everyone stayed until the end,” Mr Howitt said.
Every primary school sent along a choir to sing for the night, with most performing some of the lesser-known Christmas songs, such as East Infants’ rendition of “Ho Ho Ho,” St Joseph’s singing
“Christmas Wish” and a crowd favourite, Narrandera Public School’s “Box of Rocks”.
April Walsh and Antonia Purcell showed off both their talented voices and their comic timing with their interpretation of the song, “All I Want for Christmas (is an iPhone X).”
The Air League cadets also gave a performance of “The Little Drummer Boy” on the coronet and drums.
A highlight of the evening was a group of performers from Vanuatu, who entertained the crowd with two traditional songs. Singing in a circle and stamping their feet, spectators could literally feel the ground shake with the force of their dancing.
“They were there under the auspices of the Uniting Church. That was just stunning, they were great, and I was so glad they dressed up for the occasion,” Mr Howitt said.
Reverend Jeremy Campbell of the CRC Church delivered the minister’s message for the evening. He spoke at length about how God is always there for us, using the story of Elijah, who heard the voice of God in a cave when he was feeling abandoned and alone.
“I have no doubt that with a crowd this size there are people who feel very far away from God,” Rev Campbell said.
It wouldn’t be a proper Carols night without a visit from Santa. Singing along with the Narrandera Rotary Club, he was ready to hand out lollies to the excited crowd of children. It was a wonderful night for the kids, with children up and dancing or waving glow sticks all through the concert, and a great start to the festive season.